Feb. 15, 2023 - One of the most popular Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offered at Comal ISD high schools is health science.
Through health science courses, students follow a pathway to industry certifications and clinical, hands-on work experience that allows them to graduate from high school with both the skills and knowledge to begin a career in health care immediately.
“Our students are out in the community with patients getting hands-on experience and skills,” says Nicole Antenen, MSN, RN, CEN, who teaches health science at Smithson Valley High School. “The hands-on experience is priceless. This program is a need and a want in our community, and we can offer it.”
Before heading out into the community to work with partners such as Mercy Wellness Clinic in Spring Branch, H.I.S. Centre in Spring Branch and Physicians Premier Emergency in Bulverde, students must become industry certified in several areas.
These certifications include EKG, phlebotomy, Stop the Bleed and CPR. Students in their senior year are working towards completing their Certified Medical Assistant Training certification in May.
With their own experience in the healthcare field, Antenen and Caroline Osborn, who also teaches health science at SVHS, know how important their courses are not only for the students but also for the local community and the state.
Demand for healthcare occupations is expected to grow at a much faster rate than all occupations combined. The most recent projections indicate employment in healthcare occupations to grow 18.4 percent by 2028, adding more than 190,000 new jobs. This growth will account for more than 11 percent of the overall expected growth in Texas.
That’s why they are excited that the SVHS health science student organization, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) has quadrupled its membership in just one year from 55 last year to 220 currently.
With health science CTE programs offered at every high school, Comal ISD is always looking for partners to help these students gain experience. If a healthcare provider would like to partner with Comal ISD and one of its health science programs, please contact Renee Martinez at [email protected].
-Smithson Valley High School students, Matthew Hunt and Tatum Tomallo work on their skills in health science courses.
-Smithson Valley High School students, Kiki Vidaurri and Calvin Chau, who are enrolled in health science courses are getting hands-on experience and certifications.